Norman Kerner

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Norman Kerner
Background information
Born 1955
New York City, NY
Occupation(s) producer, engineer
Associated acts American Music Club

Norman Kerner is a New York-born producer, mixing engineer and programmer, having worked with Phil Collins, Tara MacLean, Sister Double Happiness and Spain among many others. Kerner owns and works out of Perfect Sound studios in California.


Kerner was born in New York City in 1955 where he attended public schools until 1972, when he enrolled in Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He was in the pre-med program majoring in Bio-Psychology and minoring in Music. Graduating in 1976, he moved to San Francisco and formed a rock band playing his own original material. The band gigged throughout Northern California and made several recordings with Kerner on both guitar and bass as well as lead vocals.

In 1979, Kerner and a friend designed, built and opened Starlight Sound, a recording studio in Richmond, California. Kerner began as an assistant engineer and reached the position of chief engineer at Starlight by 1983. There he began producing artists in 1985, primarily in the realm of soul and funk music.

From 1987-1989, Kerner produced independently at many studios in Northern and Southern California, and started a record label called Homebass Records, where he signed, co-produced, engineered, and mixed the first recording of the producer DJ The Automator. Homebass's initial release, Music to be Murdered By, won the 1988 Billboard Magazine Award for Dance Record of the Year.

In 1989, Kerner designed, built and opened a studio designed completely to his personal specifications, which included a 5 bedroom apartment, where artists could come from all over the world to live and work in one environment. What he created was Brilliant Studios in downtown San Francisco. Kerner's client list at this time consisted of American Music Club, Spain, Sky Cries Mary, Imperial Teen, Sister Double Happiness, Kelly Willis, Faith No More and Jewel, among many others.

Kerner also composed, produced, engineered and mixed music for TV and film, for release in the US and the UK. During this same period, he was Musical Director for the artist Jewel, which led him to work on both the Saturday Night Live and MTV Unplugged, and to choose musicians, write arrangements, and rehearse Jewel's band to prepare for her performances on Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Tour in 1998 and her singing of the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXXII.

In 2007, Kerner met Jake and John Rodenhouse, and together they built Perfect Sound studios. The studio was designed and created around the concept of the residential studio, though in the context of a private estate in the Hollywood Hills, rather than Kerner's previous urban sanctuary in San Francisco.

Involvement with American Music Club

Kerner recorded and co-produced "Rise" & "The Dead Part Of You" from American Music Club's 1991 album Everclear at Brilliant Studios in San Francisco, which he owned and operated at the time.